The CAO (Central Applications Office) manages most undergraduate applicants for the Higher Education Institutes in Ireland.
Who should apply via CAO?
All EU applicants for first year of undergraduate degree courses (excluding distance and online learning) should apply via CAO.
How do I apply?
Generally, if you are an EU/EFTA applicant* for the first year of an undergraduate degree, you must apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO). It is best to apply online at www.cao.ie. The CAO handbook, which gives details of application procedures and closing dates, is available on the CAO website.
|Central Applications Office
Phone: 091 509800
* EU/EFTA status is based on fee assessment criteria.
What's the closing date?
The normal closing date is 1 February, although there is a reduced application fee for applying before 20 January. Late applications are accepted up to 1 May except for categories of applicant (DARE, HEAR and Mature for most courses). For students currently registered in a HEI in Ireland there is a special closing date of 22 July.
How many courses can I apply for?
You can select up to 10 different level 8 courses on the CAO form. When entering your course choices it is extremely important that you list your courses based on your genuine order of preference and not on assumptions about examination performance or what you think the points will be for a course.
At the offer stage, you will receive an offer of the course highest up on your course choices list(s) that you are deemed eligible for, if any. For example, if you receive your first preference Level 8 course in Round One you will not receive an offer for a lower Level 8 preference in subsequent rounds. If you receive an offer of your third preference course you may still receive an offer of your second or first preference course in a subsequent round of offers, but you will not receive an offer of your fourth preference course or lower.
Please note: you cannot place a CAO code on your CAO form twice even if there are different options within the course.
When must my results be with CAO?
Documents already available should be sent to CAO immediately following application. All remaining documents and exam results you are presenting for assessment for entry to UCD must be with CAO no later than the dates below:
|Mature supporting documents||15 February 2021|
|HEAR/DARE supporting documents||15 March 2021|
|Irish Leaving Certificate/A-level||c15 August 2021|
|Other School leaving exams||31 July 2021|
|Other applicants please see the relevant website||QQI-FET
How are applications assessed?
Admission to all courses is competitive (i.e. there are more applicants than places) and, other than access routes (e.g. mature years or QQI-FET), is based on the Leaving Certificate points system or equivalent.
For CAO applicants, we do not require personal statements (with the exception of Veterinary Medicine which requires evidence of work experience) or interviews. All eligible applicants are scored using a points system based on the Irish Leaving Certificate. There are equivalent scoring systems for A-level and EU Applicants. In the case of Medicine, the HPAT-Ireland results are taken in combination with the school-leaving results.
Please note: if you have previously attended third level, you must declare it and some restrictions may apply.
See further information about CAO Selection
What are the alternative entry pathways?
We have the following access and progression routes
- HETAC Higher Certificate/Ordinary Degree
- QQI-FET progression
- Application on grounds of mature years
- Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)
- Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)
- Transfer from a level 8 programme
- Re-Admission to UCD
- Graduate Entry pathways.
- UCD Progression Routes
How do I know if I am EU or non-EU?
- Were you born outside the EU/EEA?
- Have you, or your parents, lived outside the EU/EEA for 3 of the last 5 years?
- Are you a non-EU/EEA National?
- Have you previously attended a third–level institution (in Ireland or elsewhere)?
If you answered yes to any of these questions please see www.ucd.ie/fees for information on the fees which will apply to you.
How do non-EU applicants apply?
If you are deemed to be a non-EU candidate for fees purposes, you should apply directly to UCD - see www.ucd.ie/global for more details.
What is my responsibility as an applicant?
As an applicant, it is your responsibility
- to check entry criteria for the programmes for which you are applying. Please note, criteria can change from year to year.
- to provide full and accurate information in the application and to notify the University and CAO of any changes or corrections made to the original application. We (UCD) may request verification from the issuing authority of any or all details on documentation presented. If documents are found to have been falsified the awarding body will be notified.
- by accepting an offer, you agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the University.
In the light of additional information which was not available at the time of selection, an offer may be amended or, in exceptional circumstances, withdrawn. We also reserve the right to correct errors where they have been made in the communication of decisions and offers.
We (UCD) reserve the right to exclude a candidate who is considered on justifiable grounds to be unsuitable for a place on a particular course according to individual circumstances.
Full conditions of an offer are available here.
When will I start, if I'm offered a place?
Prospective undergraduate students should note that the University holds induction events for freshers in the week prior to the commencement of lectures. This involves registration, academic advisory, social and orientation meetings. It is anticipated that these meetings will commence from 1 September 2020 and that lectures will commence on 7 September 2020. Further information on academic term dates can be found here.